Photo via @fortunesound / @bb.coconutbuns
Vancouver, BC - Saturday night at Fortune Sound Club held an intimate show with a sick, but ecstatic Joji. His North American tour BALLADS 1 celebrates the Japanese singer/rapper’s debut album by the same name and tickets for the show had sold out within minutes.
The night warmed up with singer Rei Brown, who is a childhood friend of Joji’s. Brown set the mood for the show with his airy vocals: slow and sultry. There was an amusing juxtaposition between Joji’s silly antics and the dark, melancholy themes of his music. “I’m sick,” is the first thing the 88rising star said when the cheering began to subside.
It was a simple set up with Joji on the mic, and his pianist, Isaac Sleator, on a small keyboard to his left, both coloured by the glow of blue lights. With sunglasses and sweatpants on, Joji sported his sickness with a breezy edge that seemed totally on-brand with his laid-back persona.
Despite his ailments, Joji came ready to entertain. He was hilarious with his constant adlibs like “unblock me, bitch” ― a running joke between Joji and his fans. To “make up” for his low energy, Joji impressed fans by doing intermittent hand stands on the tiny stage.
Joji transitioned between each song while slyly name-dropping song titles. “Who got demons?!” he yelled, followed by the eerie first chord of his song “Demons” from his EP In Tongues. He also fired t-shirts into the crowd exclaiming, “Now that I’ve got your attention,” to prelude his song “ATTENTION”.
One thing that was evident from his performance is that corny jokes are respectable only when delivered by Joji during a killer show.